Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Filing Requirements

What to File

Topic Summary

Foreign students and scholars fall into one of three statuses for tax purposes:

  • Resident alien
  • Nonresident alien
  • Dual-status alien

Each status has different filing requirements.

Resident aliens are generally subject to the same federal income tax filing requirements as U.S. citizens.

Taxpayers who are dual-status resident aliens at the end of the calendar year must:

  • File Form 1040 and mark it "Dual-Status" on top of the form, and
  • Include a statement using Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ and mark it "Dual-Status Statement"
  • Do not sign Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. The return and statement are filed with the Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX. 73301-0215 U.S.A.

A taxpayer who is a dual-status nonresident alien at the end of the calendar year must:

  • File Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ and mark it "Dual-Status" on top of the Form, and
  • Include a statement using Form 1040 and mark it "Dual-Status Statement"
  • Do not sign Form 1040. The return and statement are filed with the Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX. 73301-0215 U.S.A.

Nonresidents who are temporarily in the U.S must file a return if they have income that is subject to withholding, even if no tax was withheld.

It is recommended that nonresident aliens file a tax return if they have a filing requirement, even if they are not interested in or eligible for a refund.